Yesterday, we had the pleasure to experience a true evangelist; key-note speaker, Bob Lenz.
During his presentation, he suggested that the church should be doing a better job of evangelizing to youth and children for three reasons.
- First, he explained how two out of every three people come to Christ under the age of eighteen. This considered, 2/3 of our time, energy and resources should be spent to reach people under eighteen.
- Second, he explained some of the chaotic situations that youth in western society face today. With the high amount of assaults, depression and suicide cases, drug and alcohol abuse and straight teenage rebellion; he suggests that the enemy knows the long-lasting power, when a youth or child comes to Christ. Therefore, he is working overtime at hurting the people in which the most salvations are taking place.
- Finally, he shares a few key Scripture reference where we see Christ’s heart of people under the age of eighteen.
““At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matt. 18:1-6)
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ” (Mark 10:13-16)
As a Youth Pastor, Bob was speaking my language and giving more zeal than ever before on why we need to reach youth, but that’s not what I liked the most.
Following this message, he spoke to the teenagers in the crowd. He asked them why they’re not serving and mentoring the children in their local churches? He gave some statistics (which escape me now) on percentages of salvations before the age of fourteen, then before the age of five and how youth can have a major impact on bringing these children and tweens to the Lord.
Our students were hanging on every word as he challenged them to start taking the Gospel seriously and start making some younger disciples.
Needless to say, following the session the students were ripe to hear a more specific challenge for the rest of our trip and our local body back in Alaska. You see, we will be moving into Canada following Creation Festival. There, we will be taking part in some park ministries, specifically for children. I challenged the students to consider the impact that they could make there.
Here’s a powerful video on Bob Lenz and his ministry “Life Promotions“. This should give you a small idea of what we experienced yesterday!
Why do you think the church should focus more time, energy and resources on youth and children?